In today’s digital age, organising an event is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in effectively promoting and scaling your event networking to reach a wider audience and ensure its success.
Our comprehensive guide will walk you through proven strategies and innovative techniques to elevate your event marketing efforts. Each section of this guide is designed to provide actionable takeaways that you can adapt to fit your needs. Read on below to start mastering the art and science of networking event promotion!
What is Event Promotion?
Event promotion is a strategic marketing process focused on increasing awareness and driving attendance or participation in a specific event, such as a conference, exhibition, or seminar. Event promotion aims to attract the desired target audience and maximise the event network’s potential impact through multiple channels and techniques.
Are Event Marketing and Event Promotion the Same Thing?
No. Although the two subjects play critical roles in the overall success of a networking event, they aren’t the same thing. Event marketing is a broader term for the overall strategy of using an event to achieve a specific business or organisational goal. On the other hand, event promotion is the particular activity of the larger event marketing strategy aimed to generate awareness about the event and attract attendees.
Pre-event Promotion Best Practices
As you prepare to promote your next networking event, you should keep several best practices in mind. These steps will help ensure your promotional efforts are practical and aligned with your more significant events networking goals. Here are some key strategies you should consider:
Define your event promotion goals
Setting clear and specific goals allows you to craft a more effective promotion strategy and execute a more successful networking event by helping you track your progress and make necessary adjustments. Remember, your goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Align your sales and marketing teams
A successful event networking promotion requires a synchronised effort from your sales and marketing teams. This involves helping both teams understand and support the event’s goals and ensuring their activities are complementary. Regular communication and collaboration between these teams can promote a more cohesive and effective networking event.
Choose the proper channel
The success of your promotion efforts will largely depend on selecting the right channels that resonate with your target audience. It’s crucial to understand that choosing your promotional channel shouldn’t be about being everywhere but about being where your audience is. If your audience is active on social media, then platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn might be ideal. While email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching past attendees or subscribers.
5 Ways To Leverage Existing Event Promotional Channels
Promoting your event successfully and scaling your efforts doesn’t always mean seeking new promotional channels. Often, it involves finding innovative ways to leverage the channels you’re already using. Here are five strategies you can utilise to make the most out of your networking events promotion:
1. Maximise blog articles, videos, and other content
Create informative and engaging posts that highlight the value and excitement of your event, especially for virtual networking events. Consider creating and sharing behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with speakers, or a list of reasons to attend. Remember, content is king, so make sure your content is high-quality, relevant, and shareable.
2. Share the networking event in your newsletter
Utilise your regular newsletter to promote your event. Share updates about your event, spotlight key speakers, or offer exclusive discounts to your newsletter subscribers. Doing so boosts awareness for your event network and makes your subscribers feel valued and special.
3. Strengthen your event website’s SEO
If your event has a dedicated website, ensure it’s optimised for search engines by using relevant keywords, writing compelling meta descriptions, and creating valuable content that encourages others to link to your site. This way, when people search for networking events like yours, they’re more likely to find your website.
4. Mobilise influential attendees and speakers
Encourage well-known speakers or influential attendees coming to your event to share about the event on their social media platforms or write a guest post for your blog. Their endorsement significantly amplifies your event network reach and enhances your networking event’s visibility and credibility.
5. Promote events in your email marketing
Incorporate your event promotion into your regular emails, or create a series of dedicated emails focusing on your event. It could include initial announcements, updates, reminders, and last-minute ticket promotions. Consider segmenting your email list to ensure the right message gets to the right people.
5 Ways To Segment and Personalise Event Email Promotion
To effectively promote your event and scale your efforts, you’ll want to segment and personalise your email promotion to improve your open rates, click-through rates, and event registrations. Here are five ways to segment your networking event email promotion:
1. Segment by industry
If your event is relevant to multiple sectors, tailor your email content to each. You can highlight speakers, topics, or sessions that would be particularly interesting to professionals in each industry to increase the relevance of your emails to each of your audience’s contexts and boost engagement.
2. Segment by job title
Different organisational roles have other interests and priorities. By segmenting your email list by job title, you can speak directly to these differing needs to communicate your networking event. For example, you could emphasise networking opportunities for sales professionals while highlighting educational sessions to those in a technical role.
3. Segment by geography
When promoting an event network, the location of your potential attendees can play a significant role in their decision to participate. Dividing your email list based on where your subscribers live or work allows you to localise your messaging and send your emails at optimal times for different time zones.
4. Segment by registration stage
Where your potential attendees are in their registration journey can significantly influence the type of content they need. For those who still need to register, highlight the benefits of attending and create a sense of urgency. Consider offering practical information, such as event schedules, speaker information, or travel tips, to those who have already registered.
5. Segment by target account list or Tier-1 list
If you’re hosting a B2B networking event, you may have a list of target accounts you’re trying to reach. Personalise your email outreach to these high-priority attendees. Offer them a unique experience like a private meet-and-greet with a keynote speaker or exclusive access to specific sessions.
How To Promote Your Event On Social Media in 5 Steps
Social media can be a powerful tool in your event network promotion strategy. With its broad reach and ability to engage audiences, social media platforms can significantly enhance visibility and drive attendance to your event. Here are five steps to effectively promote your networking event on social media:
1. Choose meaningful hashtags
Creating a unique and memorable hashtag makes your event network easily searchable across different social platforms and helps create a buzz. You can also encourage attendees to use your hashtag when they share content and posts about the event. Doing so helps spread the word and create user-generated content, which is often an effective form of promotion.
2. Use retargeting ads on Facebook
Leverage Facebook’s powerful ad platform to retarget people who have already shown an interest in your event network. This could be anyone who’s visited your event page, interacted with your event post, or engaged with your brand on Facebook. A well-crafted retargeting ad can remind potential attendees about your event and encourage them to register.
3. Add your event to LinkedIn and Facebook
LinkedIn and Facebook have features that allow you to create event pages that provide tools for sharing event details, consistently updating, and engaging with potential attendees. These event pages can be shared widely within your event network, encouraging others to do the same and significantly boosting the visibility and reach of your networking event.
4. Create registrant referral links
Encourage attendees to promote your networking event by providing them with unique referral links that they can share on their social media channels. You can offer incentives, such as discounts or special gifts, to those who successfully refer others to register for your event. Doing so helps you reach a wider audience and drive more registrations.
5. Share content on Instagram stories
Instagram Stories have become a popular method of engaging with an audience due to their high visibility and interactive features. With Instagram Stories, you can share short-lived content that stays up for only 24 hours. Still, you can also pin important stories to your profile as highlights for them to remain accessible.
4 Ideas for Scaling Your Event Promotional Efforts
In promoting your event, the ultimate aim is to scale your efforts efficiently to increase your event network’s reach and visibility without necessarily increasing your workload. Here are four ideas that can help you scale your event promotional efforts effectively:
1. Collaborate with sponsors and speakers
Your event speakers, sponsors, and partners can spread the word and act as powerful amplifiers for your event. Provide them with promotional materials and request them to share the event details with their networks to increase the reach of your event promotion and bring in attendees outside of your immediate event network.
2. Master influencer marketing
Influencers have ready-made audiences that trust their opinions and recommendations. Identify influencers in your industry and reach out to them to promote your event network by offering them exclusive access, special perks, or even asking them to speak at the networking event. They’ll be more likely to attend when their followers see they are involved.
3. Get internal team buy-in and support
Ensure that every member of your team understands the importance and value of the event, and encourage them to share the event with their personal and professional networks. Doing so increases the reach of your promotion and ensures that the entire team feels invested in the networking event’s success.
4. Use AI content tools to scale promotional content
With the rise of artificial intelligence, numerous automation tools are available to help scale and accelerate your content creation process. AI can generate promotional text, create personalised emails, or suggest social media posts to ensure a consistent flow of promotional materials while freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of event planning.
How To Successfully Promote Your Events with The Ortus Club
Ensuring success in promoting and scaling your event network efforts demands strategic planning, creative execution, and effective use of technology and human event networks. By effectively understanding and leveraging each strategy listed above, you ensure your networking event reaches its full potential, drawing in a larger audience and ultimately delivering a more impactful and engaging event experience for your attendees.
However, it’s also important to remember that event planning and promotion, while rewarding, can be complex and time-consuming. Thankfully, networking event companies like The Ortus Club demonstrate the power of expertly executed promotional efforts. Specialising in facilitating knowledge-sharing discussions, The Ortus Club brings together leading executives from across the globe in an environment that promotes meaningful connections and learning opportunities.
Remember, effective promotion is what sets an event apart. By embracing these best practices and strategies, you’ll increase your event’s visibility and its potential to make a meaningful impact on your attendees. Contact us today to learn more!